Obituary of Michael James Humphrey
Michael James Humphrey, 73, died Sunday, May 14, at his home in Mesa. Mike was born March 20, 1950 in South Bend, Indiana, to Lester and Helen Humphrey. Mike moved to Phoenix with his family in 1955. He went to Grandview Elementary School, Bourgade High School, and Central High School, from which he graduated in 1968.
The family moved to Mesa in 1968, and Mike attended Mesa Community College. For most of his adult life, Mike worked in the landscaping field, initially for Christ the King Catholic Church and then for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, eventually forming his own private landscaping company. He maintained this business until November 2022. Mike also coached youth sports for many years at Christ the King and directed the Catholic Youth Organization sports programs for the diocese.
Mike was well-known among friends and family for his skills with flowers and plants, and his ability to get just about anything to grow anywhere. The green lawns and spectacular colorful flower beds that Mike planted and maintained were admired by the churches' parishioners, receiving countless compliments.
Many of the friends Mike made, including many of the youths he coached, stayed in regular touch over the years, even working in landscaping together. Mike had a special connection with children. He was "Uncle Mike," not just to his many nieces and nephews, but to many other kids as well. Mike's chocolate chip cookies were legendary, not just with the kids but with their parents.
In addition to Mike's biological family he was blessed to have many close friends he considered family. Late in life, he became "Uncle Mikee" to Khaison and Maverick, sons of Kassie Arner. These three loving individuals brought tremendous joy to Mike.
Mike loved the outdoors. There was no place he'd rather be than in the woods somewhere in Arizona, usually by a lake or stream. An enthusiastic fisherman, Mike passed this knowledge and love along to many children over the years.
He enjoyed many memorable excursions and gatherings with the unique group of lifelong friends called the Coatimundis, a diverse crew of like-minded and fun-loving souls who share a special bond.
Mike is survived by brothers Tony (Dixie), Norm, David (Connie), Denny, and his sister, Marilyn Nelson (Larry). He was predeceased by his oldest brother, Larry, whose widow, Nancy, remained a cherished sister-in-law to the end of Mike's life. He is also survived by 13 nieces and nephews, and so many great-nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews that he lost count, but he loved them all.
Mike courageously and stoically battled small cell lung cancer these past 4 years, amazing his doctors and nurses at M.D. Anderson with his resilience.
There will be a funeral mass at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 141 N. Macdonald in Mesa, at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 16th, 2023, with a celebration of Mike's life in the church hall afterward.
If you would like to honor Mike, please consider a donation to your favorite children's charity.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael Humphrey, please visit Tribute Store